The East Prairie Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak Friday night by outlasting the Portageville Bulldogs 25-14.
The win put the Eagle season record at 4-5, while the Bulldogs finish 5-4.
Senior running back Josh Boyer had the best outing of his career, rushing 22 times for 301 yards and scoring all four of the Eagles' touchdowns.
In their first possession, the Bulldogs were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. The Eagles blocked the punt and set up shop on the Portageville 41.
From there Boyer and Brent Harland combined on a 8-play drive to put the ball on the Bulldog one-yard line where Boyer scored to make the score 6-0 at the 4:59 mark of the opening quarter.
Portageville evened the count at the 11:50 mark of the second quarter on an 11-play drive, aided by a face mask penalty against East Prairie.
Detric Kershaw ran it in from six yards out and Jacob Summerton's extra point gave the Bulldogs the 7-6 lead, their only lead of the contest.
"I was proud of the kids. They came out in the second half and played well, East Prairie's coaches do a good job. We had quite a few injuries, as many young guys as we're playing a 5-4 record isn't too bad," said Portageville coach Jim McKay.
On a 2-play drive, East Prairie regained the lead on a 28-yard effort by Boyer with 11:24 remaining in the second to make the score 13-7. The Eagles also benefited from a face-mask penalty against the 'Dogs.
Four minutes later the Eagles made it 19-7 on a 13-yard run by Boyer to complete the scoring in the first half.
The Bulldogs appeared to be a different team in the second half as they moved the ball with authority on their first drive. Antonio Scott capped the drive with a one-yard run to cut the Eagle lead to five at 19-14.
Portageville missed a golden opportunity at the 8:05 mark of the final quarter when it was called for a delay of game penalty at the Eagle one yard line on third down.
Heartened by the penalty, the Eagle defense rose to the occasion and kept Scott out of the end zone from the six yard line.
"For the last two weeks, we came out as a group, not as a team. We had a bunch of individuals playing. For us to be successful, we have to play as a team. We had some adversity there in the third quarter, but our kids fought through it and still kept the emotion. We had a team effort tonight and that's what I'm proud of,'' said Eagle head coach Brett Blackman.
Jacob Poore ended the last serious Bulldog threat at the 3:53 mark of the fourth quarter when he pounced on a fumble. Four plays later Boyer broke through the Portageville defense and ran 58 yards for the final tally of the game.